Will Smith had a very strong reaction when he found out he'd been booked to fly coach with Ireland's national airline, Aer Lingus, on a short trip from Dublin to Manchester, England. He immediately shelled out $15,000 to charter a private jet for the 50-minute flight rather than sit next to common folk, according to the UK paper The Mirror. Airline staff were furious because they'd made special arrangements for Smith, 42, and his entourage to be whisked through the Manchester ­terminal. One airline worker told the paper: “We know he is used to ­travelling in style but we were really put out.” Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and son Jaden Smith are accompanying daughter Willow Smith, 10, who is performing with Justin Bieber on his European tour. An Aer Lingus source said: “It raised a few eyebrows when we heard because it seemed to be a bit of a snub. It surprised everyone because it’s a short flight and economy is still very ­comfortable.”

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51 Comments so far

  1. Andrea on March 24, 2011 12:14 AM

    Actually this doesn't surprise me. He strikes me as someone who thinks he's "all that." And his kids seem to have even bigger egos than he does.

  2. Jacqueline on March 24, 2011 7:12 AM

    How disappointing! Will Smith has always been one of my favorite actors. If he really has such a big ego, I've lost some respect for him.

  3. Demigod on March 24, 2011 7:19 AM

    What a gross expenditure. This is about maintaining status, so ya..ego.

  4. Arleen on March 24, 2011 8:40 AM

    Is that really surprising?? No. Look at how his kids carry themselves. He has come a long way since "Fresh Prince" and obviously he thinks he is better than the rest of us. Sorry Will, you have now lost me as a fan and yes I do realize that you could care less.

  5. Barbara on March 24, 2011 10:06 AM

    How did Justin Bieber travel. I bet he was not booked economy.
    I agree with Will Smith, he and his family are well known and should be shown more respect,especially as Willow,his daughter, is performing with Justin on his European Tour.
    Would Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, or any other celebrity be booked on Economy?
    Will, I admire you for what you did. Respect must be shown at all times.

    If the airlines knew who Will Smith was, how come they booked him on economy? Very strange indeed!!!!!!
    Will, you are still No. 1 in my books. Great Family Man.

  6. Spanky on March 24, 2011 10:15 AM

    Did any of you retards happen to think that because of his fame it's hard for him to travel in coach with all the retards who won't stop bothering him. To him $15,000 gave him some peace of mind instead of hassles with idiots. None of us were there and the story is only from the airlines point of view and they don't even know the whole story. If I was as rich as him I wouldn't fly coach either, private all the way!

  7. Cc on March 24, 2011 10:17 AM

    I don't blame him. I can imagine that if he flies economy he is probably more bothered for autographs and attention and if he is travelling with his family he does not want to be bothered. I say he has every right to not accept the flight if that was not what was requested in he first place. How would you feel if you had booked first class and were told that you had to fly economy. I'm sure if you had the means you would do the same thing.

  8. Dave Georgia on March 24, 2011 11:43 AM

    Well, having flown on one of those "short flights" from Dublin to England (we went to Heathrow) I can attest that economy is NOT "still very comfortable". The redeeming quality of it is that it's a short flight. If I had the money, and the entourage, I'd do what Will did.

  9. pilot on March 24, 2011 11:55 AM

    Short, domestic flights on regional airlines often only have one class of seating, on an aircraft that the general public would cosider small. I think the majority would choose a private jet over that.

  10. Age A on March 24, 2011 1:03 PM

    WTF!!! If I had his wallet I would be doing the same damn thing...could you imagine all the requests for pictures, autographs and crap he would have to put up with...I am surprised though because for $250K he could have a private jet on standby to take him anywhere, anytime for a year, no maintainence or worries about parking the damn thing...just board and go...hell ya I would do the same.$15K is chump for the champ

  11. Denny on March 24, 2011 1:14 PM

    Come on People Can you imagine how those 50 minutes would have been spent? He would have been pulled yanked,, kissed touched, and worse I know it would drive me mad having people I don't know all over me talking my ears off. have a little compassion!And in truth put yourselfs in his place. Don't be haters!!!!!

  12. Andrea on March 24, 2011 1:30 PM

    His children are so full of themselves. One day they're going to treat him the same way Miley Cyrus treats her father - with disdain.

  13. Colleen on March 24, 2011 1:37 PM

    I thought he was a better person than that.He sure isn't teaching his childen respect.Just because he has money to throw around. He seems to think he is
    better than anyone else.

  14. Germain on March 24, 2011 1:42 PM

    I'm not a fan of Will Smith and never have been, I think he's throwing his kids in the limelight and that will backfire on him just like it did Billy Ray Cyrus. For having been on many flights, if I could have avoided the narrow seats, the waiting lines and everything else, I would have and I was only flying for business without my kids, I'd feel even stronger about it with my family and I'm not a famous actor getting hassled for autographs.

    So, I don't blame him for doing that but he's still a douchebag.

  15. L1feless on March 24, 2011 1:43 PM

    I have to agree. He would be hassled the entire way to Manchester and lets be honest $15,000 is nothing considering the flight itself in coach was likely $2000+ for all of the family and entourage anyways. Which really means he only spent an extra $13,000 for privacy. Given the fact that he likes to spend time with his family that is a small price to pay for him to have his family and friends travel privately. It is also important that we take into account the fact that we have no idea what seating arrangements he or his daughter had requested or been promised to begin with.

  16. mariposaman on March 24, 2011 2:00 PM

    Being rich does make him better than the rest of us. Being rich and famous give him privilege. To believe otherwise is to live in a fantasy world. A few thousand dollars to him is like pennies to us.

    While I do not like him as an actor, he is always Prince of Belaire, he has improved a little over the years, going from a one note actor to passable in some of his roles.

  17. culver on March 24, 2011 2:05 PM

    sorry, it's arrogant and obnoxious, just like his kids are becoming. For 50 minutes, I'm sure they wouldn't have been hounded as is suggested here.. to think you would be, falls under the category of ego.

    he had the opportunity to give a few fans a nice memory... he failed.

  18. Odin on March 24, 2011 2:18 PM

    True that being famous and wealthy beyond measure gives you all the perks in the world. And a flight for 15k is just pocket change for Mr. Smith.

    But then again you don’t want to be disrespectful. Spending time with fans should not be considered torture or an inconvenience. The fans are the People who made him what he is today.

  19. Shirley on March 24, 2011 2:35 PM

    Being where you are because of fans, does not give the fans the right to have access to the person or his family, every moment of their life. There are times when access is permitted and acceptable, but if fans would allow these people and their children less adulation, they wouldn't get the idea they are better than others in the first place. Most child stars get big heads because they are told they are wonderful and not allowed a life. You will notice the ones that make it in that insane world, usually had parents that kept their life as normal as they could. Will Smith allowing his children to perform if that is what they want to do, is no different that parents pushing their children into hockey, etc. Just a different venue.

  20. kheama on March 24, 2011 3:12 PM

    Gee Spanky...2 retards and 1 idiot, all in one VERY short paragraph. You is one very edumacated MORON...get a life, you jerk. Other people besides the very wealthy have a job to do and do it to their best ability.
    People with mental and emotional handicaps, (you know those retards) should beat you half to death with their "SPECIAL PARKING SIGNS", asshole.

  21. sistergirl on March 24, 2011 3:48 PM

    I don't think it's arrogant. This was apparently a family trip where he wanted to spend time (alone) with his family - not with a bunch of grappling fans.

  22. Jim Steeves on March 24, 2011 3:54 PM

    I agree with Jacqueline, I used to think he was great, now I find out he's nothing but a snob, but he isn't the only one. The majority of famous people, rich people, politicians, kings, queens, etc... think they are better than the rest of us. That's part of the reason I hate rich people so bad, besides being jealous of course.

  23. #2 Mum on March 24, 2011 4:01 PM

    What likely occurred is the same thing that happened to me on an Air Canada flight. What was a Business and Economy flight became all Economy after I had booked and comfirmed a Business Class seat. Airlines do this if there are not enough flying First or Business class to justify the different services. The problem is, you generally don't find out about the change until you go to check in. By which time most trvellers are not in a position to change their flight plans. I understand Will's position entirely and I would have done the same thing if I had his money.

  24. Ally on March 24, 2011 4:09 PM

    His kids seem so stuck up and act like they're God's gift to earth. Jaden is growing up, and I can tell he won't be anything special regarding looks. Will is so full of himself, he acts like having a few fans ask him for his autograph is like the worst thing. He can't even spend an hour with normal people. The Smith family are all shallow and believe they are above the human race

  25. elite on March 24, 2011 7:22 PM

    Hahahaha, doesn't surprise me one bit. You're rich and you think you're better than everyone else. God forbid to sit next to people who know the meaning of a hard day's work and don't get fed the silver spoon up their ass. I mean god forbid to be next to people who are 100 times better than you will ever be. F**k you, Will. And your kids are garbage in movies and especially in singing.

  26. Sympathetic in Toronto on March 24, 2011 8:18 PM

    If he wants to charter a private jet, that is his prerogative. my god, whoever booked him in coach should have their head examined. Here is a man traveling with his family, and would be forced to be subject to all the prying eyes, questions, and autograph & photograph seekers for his entire flight... essentially captive??? Get real! And for the airline staff to say they were put out... tough. The Smiths were not guests, they are paying passengers, and if they choose to use their money to charter a private jet... that is their prerogative!

  27. Not a Will Smith Fan on March 24, 2011 8:56 PM

    They would not have been harassed on the flight since the British, and Canadians for that matter, don't bother celebrities like fans in the U.S. do. We are a much more polite society that respects peoples privacy. I have been on short flights with various celebs and no one bothered them. Will Smith needs to get himself down off his pedestal. Acting is not brain surgery.

  28. Lila on March 24, 2011 9:54 PM

    Being crowded and uncomfortable in comparison to travelling in comfort........hhhmmmmmm which would you choose Sparky?

  29. mfh on March 24, 2011 9:59 PM

    Looks like the world is coming to an end with all these actors acting crazy dropping their ratings & banning themselves,then they depend on the audience to support them, he can charter all he like, where do they do groceries,I guess they have it delivered all the time,do they go to real Hospital,Pharmacy, when acting do you think the Commoners watch & support. give me a break. This situation is becoming pathetic.

  30. Matt on March 24, 2011 10:07 PM

    Are you kidding me? It's not like any of us fly with other people because we like it. The guy's one of the richest actors in the world. I'd have been more surprised if he did get on the plane.

  31. Mary on March 24, 2011 10:17 PM

    I've also travelled with celebrities and although there were a few whispers no one bothered them. It's all about Ego and it wasn't a very good example for his kids. Just because money is no object it showed disrespect for the POOR WORKING CLASS, that's me and you. It appears Will has forgotten that without a fan base he wouldn't have all that money to begin with. As far as I'm concerned all these people are over rated to begin with. There may be another part to this story we haven't heard and won't hear until he's on some talk show pushing a new movie. I have to admit enjoyed the remake of Karate Kid and thought his son was pretty good but prefered the original.

  32. zuh@hotmail.com on March 24, 2011 10:22 PM

    If I was Smith I wouldn't want to fly with you brainless twats either!

  33. Nora Dolan on March 24, 2011 11:49 PM

    Sympathetic in Toronto said it best; he deserves, as does his family, to travel without fans' attention; it's quite stressful, especially with the whole family. In his position, I'd do the same. It's not as if he threw a phone at someone!

  34. WL Makarchuk on March 24, 2011 11:56 PM

    Well, maybe all us "commoners" will no longer buy his albums or go to the theatre to watch his movies. I always thought he was over-rated and now as a person he isn't qualified to clean my animal's cage.

  35. Fatbastard on March 25, 2011 2:45 AM

    Why do black people travel with entourages?

  36. Demigod on March 25, 2011 5:46 AM

    Because they all want sum sumptin..

  37. Demigod on March 25, 2011 5:55 AM

    I never took 'flying coach' to mean economy seating. I'm sure he had first class seats on a economy flight (perhaps due to availability?). Even in 1st class people can be 'gawkers', and no diff than 'commoners'.

  38. Chris on March 25, 2011 7:34 AM

    There is always two sides to every stories. Unfortunately, actors have a job to do but they also have people constantly trying to meet them or getting their pics and authographs. I don't think that people should judge his actions without knowing his side of the story.

    $15,000 to him is peanuts so why not travel in comfort...

    As well, If i had paid first class and got shoved in coach, I would have been pissed. Why are actors any different...why the judgement on his actions. We obviously do not have all the facts.

  39. Storm on March 25, 2011 8:32 AM

    I can't believe Will Smith was like that! He has always seemed like one of us regular folk as far as I'm concerned.If this is true-I have lost A LOT of respect for him.I hate those actors/actresses that think their s... don't stink!

  40. Mike on March 25, 2011 9:49 AM

    You can take the guy out of the Ghetto but never the Ghetto out of the Guy...Seriously this whole family should be sent back to projects to learn REAL life again, Not pig smack full of money to a real loser who has no respect for the world or his fans...The whole family lives on another planet...

  41. C-Dub on March 25, 2011 1:21 PM

    Who cares. He's got the cash, BUT to have the airport personel go out of their way to expedite the Smith family onto the plane quicker and then jam out on all the effort the employees put in is not cool. Hopefully Will Smith will do something nice for them. Maybe along the lines that Johnny Depp did for Pirates crew members when he bought them all winter jackets for their efforts.

  42. Yo on March 25, 2011 2:37 PM

    Seriously, special arrangements? They probably set it up to put the entire family in the centre of the plane. I have a feeling he had paid for first class in the first place, and they tried to screw him with this economy class crap. You know what, even if he "thinks" he's all that, guess what people? He is... you cannot shun a guy for having some amazing talent, bring laughter, joy, sadness, and just a general good time to your lives for the past 15 years. He worked his ass off to get where he is, and no bs airline is going to try to screw him over. I don't believe the airline, I think they saw Will Smith, and made sure they did what they could to drive the attention to them....

  43. max powersssssssssssssssssssssss on March 25, 2011 6:04 PM

    maybe it was full of white ppl and he found them gross

  44. Jessica on March 26, 2011 12:07 AM

    Ok seriously, if this story was about Stephen Speilberg or Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford, would most of you be saying what your saying?? Is it because he's black your having such an issue with this?? Stephen Speilberg has a private helicopter, many actors travel first class, what's the friggin problem?? Who gives a CHit!
    This is why people want to be 'rich n famous' they want better things. How do we know what's going on in their lives? There could be good reason he did what he did and the entourage could be security for all you know.

  45. Brian on March 26, 2011 11:24 AM

    Will Smith, remember you came from nothin to somethin. I guess you're scared of the common irish. What's wrong with you.

  46. John on March 27, 2011 8:29 PM

    Who really cares? There are only 2 types of people in the World; those who believe that we all live on a planet that revolves around the Sun.....the rest believe that everything revolves around THEM!! No matter how big their bank account, they whine and bitch about every little thing that doesn't go exactly their way. It was a 50 minute flight - they probably wasted more time trying to re-schedule the charter flight. It would've been a good lesson in humility and manners for Smith's children if Will & Jada would have just sucked it up, grinned and bear the slight inconvenience of flying coach. Instead, he told them by his actions that if you don't like the way things are going for you, just pay to have them changed. It may be the way of the world, but what about values? This is not a race or colour thing, it's a human thing - sorry Will, you proved to be a little less human (or noble) than many of us thought you were.

  47. AndWHAT?! on March 28, 2011 2:03 AM

    The sensationalist title of this article says it all. Who gives a muthaf^ck!nflyingf^ck!¿ We ALL know and see what celebrities go through (TMZ) Being a successful well known celebrity with money...WHY NOT?

  48. TruthBeTold on March 29, 2011 11:00 AM

    I don't know, 50 minutes being mauled by fans would seem like a pretty long time. He's most likely protecting his kids from the anxiety of it too. Give him a break, it's his money and he should spend it the way he wants. Go earn your own and then you can judge!

  49. TruthBeTold on March 29, 2011 11:04 AM

    And C-Dub? Employees going out of their way? Don't fall for the propagandization of this crap "article". Anything you do in the course of your 8 hour shift is YOUR FLIPPING JOB!!!!!!!!! I'm so SICK of people BITCHING about having to do anything out of the same old same old, put any sort of effort into their work, or adapt to changing situations. Geez, it's your job, do it, get paid and go home. Quit snivling and grow up!

  50. @max p on April 4, 2011 4:53 AM

    LOL. I liked will smith when he was on fresh prince but hardly since, I don't get why everyone even likes him. I liked ONE of his movies and cant even remember what it was called, it's the one where he lives in public washrooms with his kid and I liked it because of the humility of his character which is not how he is now and certainly not how he raises his kids and I don't say this because he wouldn't fly economy. If I had a choice I wouldn't fly economy either, especially if I were famous! people like him don't belong in economy, that just makes no sense but for such a short flight, i don't see what the big deal was I am sure most of their fellow passengers would have been civilized. I just find the smiths to be so snotty and that to me is ugly, esp their kids who will grow up to be just like Hillary from fresh prince, or a paris hilton of sorts, minus the porn. And Barbara, what kind of family man leaves his family for another woman?

  51. Lacey on June 12, 2011 7:26 PM

    Stuck up snob. Nouveau riche are the worst.

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